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Kuria people

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Kuria people by Kenyans247(1): Wed 13, May, 2020 10:05am
The Kuria people (also known as the AbaKurya,[citation needed] are an ethnic group in Tanzania and Kenya. Their homeland is bounded on the east by the Migori River and on the west by the Mara River estuary. Traditionally a pastoral and farming community, the Kuria grow maize, beans and cassava as food crops and coffee and maize as cash crops.

The homeland of the Kuria is between the Migori River on the east and the Mara River estuary on the west, extending from Migori County in Kenya on the east to Musoma Rural District in Tanzania on the west. On the south, their land borders Transmara District in Kenya and the Nguruimi area of Tanzania. On the north is Lake Victoria, with a small corridor occupied by the Luo and other Bantu peoples.

The Kuria are found in Kenya and Tanzania. In Kenya, they live in the Kuria East (headquartered in Kegonga) and Kuria West districts (headquartered in Kehancha). In Tanzania, they live in Serengeti and Tarime Districts, Musoma Urban and Rural Districts, and Bunda District. The Kuria have recently settled in Tanzania's Mara Region.

Their neighbours are the Maasai, Kalenjin (the Kipsigis in western Transmara), Ikoma, Luo and Suba. The Kuria are divided into several clans, which live in Kenya and in Tanzania. In Kenya, there are four clans: the Abagumbe, Abairege, Abanyabasi and Abakira. Tanzania has 13 (the Abapemba, Ababurati, Abakira, Abamera, Simbete, Abanyabasi, Watobori, Abakunta, Wiga, Kaboye, Abakenye, Abagumbe and Wasweta, Abatimbaru), in addition to other minor clans.

The Kuria are traditionally a farming community, primarily planting maize, beans and cassava as food crops. Cash crops include coffee and maize. The Kuria also keep cattle.

Etymology and demographics
The name "Kuria" seems to have been applied to the whole group by early colonial chiefs, mainly to distinguish them from the other Luo peoples along the southern shore of Lake Victoria (who were known as Abasuba). According to the Abagusii, their ancestors originally came from "Misiri" and they migrated with the ancestors of the Kuria, Meru, and Abalogoli. According to major Kuria clan tradition (including the Abanyabasi, Abatimbaru, Abanyamongo, Abakira, Abairegi, Abakenye, Abanchaari, and Abagumbe), their ancestor was Mokurya. His descendants migrated from Misiri, and after many years of wandering along Lake Victoria they reached present-day Bukurya. According to this tradition, the Kuria have been divided into two families: the Abasai (from Mokurya's elder wife) and the Abachuma, from his younger wife.

In another view of the name's origin, between 1774 and 1858 Kuria people lived on Korea Hill (north of the Mara River in the Musoma district of present-day Tanzania). The region's inhabitants became known as "Korea people" after the hill, which evolved into "Kuria hill". During the colonial period, the Kenyan Kuria called themselves Abatende (after the Abatende clan in the Bugumbe region); the Tanzanian Kuria continued to be known by their totems. Around the 1950s, the name Kuria gained wide usage. Mijikenda, Abaluyia and Kalenjin also became generally accepted as ethnic names during the 1940s and 1950s, when they sought political recognition from Kenyan colonial authorities.

The Kuria people may not have a common origin, although a number of clans claim to have come from Egypt. Kurian culture is an amalgam of several heterogenous cultures. Among the Kuria are people who were originally from the Kalenjin-, Maasai-, Bantu- and Luo-speaking communities. Between AD 1400 and 1800, during migrations into Bukurya, the foundation was laid for Kuria cultural and political development. Early inhabitants of Bukurya were Bantu and Nilotic speakers, who brought their distinct cultures; the predominantly-agricultural Bantu came into contact with Nilotic pastoralists. This combined agriculture and pastoralism, with nomadic tendencies. Kuria agriculture resembles that of the Abagusii and Luo, and their cattle-keeping has borrowed practices from the Maasai, Zanaki and Nguruimi.

The 2006 Kuria population was estimated at 909,000, with 608,000 living in Tanzania and 301,000 in Kenya. Anthropological research in 2012 estimated the population of the Kuria in Kenya at about 650,000, and the Tanzanian population at about 700,000. The Kuria people were primarily pastoralists during the pre-colonial era. The Kenyan Kuria lean towards crop production, and the Tanzanian Kuria tend towards pastoralism.

Wooden tools

English Kuria Use
Stool igitumbe chair
Bed obhoree sleeping
Pestle ihuri thrashing millet, cassava
Bowl igitubha utensil
Hoe inkuro weeding and digging
Bow obhotha weapon
Arrows imigwi weapon
Shoes imityambwi dancing
Woven-straw utensils
English Kuria Use
Storage basket egetong storing flour
Harvest basket irikang harvesting Millet
Serving basket ekehe, ekegaro serving food
Door shutter egesaku shutter
Granary iritara grain storage
Ornaments obhogeka worn by girls and women
Container ekerandi, egesencho serving water, milk
Straw orokore beer drinking
Leather, skin, and clothing products
English Kuria Use
Cowhide iriho bedding
Goat- or calfskin egesero clothing
Decorated cowhide or goatskin engemaita, embotora ceremonial women's clothing
Treated goatskin igisiriti girls' and women's clothing
Shredded skin amacharya worn by boys during initiation
Thong urukini, irichi tying cattle or firewood
Shield ingubha warfare
Hood, crown ekondo warfare
Pottery products
English Kuria Use
Water pot esengo ya amanche water storage
Milk pot ekenyongo milk storage
Ugali pot inyakaruga cooking cornmeal porridge
Smoking pipe ighikwabhe smoking tobacco
Flour pot enyongo ya bhose storing flour
Vegetable pot iririghira cooking
Animals or birds
Kuria English Nyamburi goat Nyang’ombe cow Gaini bull Nyangoko/magoko chicken Wangwe leopard Wandui lion Nyanswi fish Tyenyi animal Machage zebra Nchoka/waichoka snake Nguti dove Sariro eagle Mang’era buffalo Nyanchugu elephant Wankuru tortoise Kehengu rock rabbit Ngocho parrot Ng’wena crocodile Magige locust Kinyunyi bird
Action or fortune
Kuria English Mokami milkman Motegandi/mohagachi builder Murimi farmer Nyantahe from container[clarification needed] Muya beauty Mohoni salesman Motongori first harvester Mtundi food provider Matinde land tiler Waitara granary Mataro/machera/mogendi traveller Moseti hunter Mbusiro seeding grain
Clans or tribes
Kuria English Mwikabhe/Ikwabhe Maasai Mtatiro Tatoga Mogaya Luo Mgusuhi Kisii Nyabasi from Nyabasi Mtimbaru from Butimbaru
Mystical/abstract names
Kuria English Nyanokwe God Wainani Jinni Mgosi from the north Wanyancha from west/lake Mirumbe mist/fog Sabure god of the Wanchari Melengali sunlight Nchota/nsato mystical snake Matiko/butiko night Ryoba/rioba sun
English Kuria Earthquake kirigiti Lightning nkobha Rain wambura/nyambura Famine wanchara/nyanchara Harvest magesa/mogesi Flood nyamanche
Common words
Kuria English
Amang'ana general greeting
Mbuya ohoyere How was your day?
Tang'a amanche ghakunywa Can I have (drinking) water?
Nuuwe ngw'i What is your name?
Omosani friend
Omogheni guest
Omokhebhara a pagan
Umwitongo a foreigner
Omosacha male
Omokari female
Umwisekhe young lady
Umumura young man
Kharibhu welcome
Okoreebhuya thank you
Umurisia uncircumcised male
Iritoka car (from English "car")
Isukhuuri school (from English "school")
Kuria is related to the Gusii language.

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